There are a few tools that are used for many recipes and are a good idea to have around. Here are a few that I recommend:
Most important tool that I have in my kitchen is a scale. Weighing ingredients, especially when baking, can make a huge difference to a recipe. This one is great as it is very easy to clean.
A pastry blender like this one is great to have when you want to work solid fats like butter or shortening into flour to make a dough. Think apple crisp topping.
Many recipes require you to cream together the butter and sugar. This is not easy to do by hand. If you won’t do a lot of baking or just don’t have the counter space for a larger stand mixer, get yourself a good handheld mixer. This one had a place to store the beaters so you don’t lose any pieces:It is important to have a set of wet and dry measuring cups and a good set of measuring spoons like these: